O'Neal Smitherman leaving Ball State, Phil Repp taking over in interim

Topic: Administrative

September 27, 2007

O~~~Neal Smitherman
O~~~Neal Smitherman
O'Neal Smitherman, Ball State's vice president for information technology and chief information officer (CIO), has announced that he has accepted the position of executive vice president of the Hudson Alpha Institute of Biotechnology, which conducts research in genetics and genomics based in Huntsville, Ala.

Smitherman will leave for his new position on Nov. 1, and Phil Repp, associate vice president for information technology, will fill the vacancy on an interim basis.

Since coming to Ball State in 2001, Smitherman has been a champion in helping Ball State become a national model in digital education, said Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora.

"O'Neal's contributions to information technology have helped Ball State earn national recognition as America's number one wireless campus," she said. "He has helped champion a number of digital initiatives and played a key role in the university earning a CIO 100 Award.

"It will be tough to see O'Neal leave, but I'm confident our technology initiatives are in good hands and we will continue to be a national model in this realm," she said.

During Smitherman's tenure, he directed the university's move to become a wireless campus in 2002 and was instrumental in attaining the ranking as the nation's number one wireless campus that was reported in U.S. News & World Report in 2005. In addition, he implemented a $600,000 federal grant to develop a high-speed broadband network for on- and off-campus research and development and paved the way for the university to be one of the first institutions in the United States to test and deploy WiMAX technology.

Away from campus, Smitherman has promoted the use of technology in mental health evaluation and treatment, as well as provided leadership in developing testing and evaluation instruments for many government and social service agencies.

"During my time at Ball State, we have seen the university establish itself as a first-rate institution of higher learning in many areas, and I am very proud of the opportunities to be part of that recognition in the use of technology at the university," Smitherman said. "We have continued to lead the way in the use of technology in the classroom and receive accolades from companies like Microsoft and IBM as well as the popular press. I am looking forward to my new adventures, but I will always consider myself part of the Ball State family."

Repp, who joined Ball State in 1981, has served the university as department chairman, associate dean and director, and he has held the position of associate vice president since 2002. He was a contributing author of two digital technology grants from the Lilly Endowment totaling $40 million. He also led the university's digital media storage project in collaboration with Network Appliance, which received an award from InfoWorld as an example of outstanding enterprise innovation and IT leadership, and spearheaded the campus-wide strategic planning process for the Office of Information Technology.

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